The two main styles of antique tubs are clawfoot tubs and pedestal tubs. Normally constructed of cast iron or sometimes copper, these styles of vintage tubs have several variations, including slipper, double slipper, double-ended and classic roll-top styles.
Popular luxury items in the 19th century, clawfoot tubs stand off the ground on four legs like a piece of furniture, unlike standard, built-in modern tubs. Classic roll-top style clawfoot tubs share the same shape as modern tubs with one end slightly rounded and the other more flat. The top edge of the metal of the tub is rolled over for greater comfort when climbing in and out.
Double-ended tubs have rounded shapes on both ends of the tub, allowing either end to serve comfortably as the head of the tub. Slipper tubs feature a raised top edge on one end of the tub, providing an area where the person bathing can lean back and lounge comfortably. Double slipper tubs have this raised lounging area on both ends of the tub. This allows the person bathing to use either end for a relaxing bath, or for two people to bathe at the same time.
Pedestal tubs are freestanding tubs, similar to clawfoot tubs, but clawfoot tubs rest on a pedestal base instead of four legs. Often seen as an extension of the clawfoot tub style, pedestal tubs actually have a much longer history, first coming into use in Crete more than 3000 years ago.